"No reason to ostracize people like Djokovic" - Media critic Steve Krakauer on COVID-19 vaccine situation

Laver Cup 2022 - Day Three
Novak Djokovic is one of the few unvaccinated players on tour.

Media critic Steve Krakauer has said that athletes like Novak Djokovic shouldn't be 'ostracised' for not taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Djokovic is one of the most high-profile athletes who are yet to take the vaccine. As a result, the former World No. 1 has been barred from participating in many big tournaments.

Earlier this year, Djokovic was deported from Australia owing to a controversy regarding his medical exemption for taking the vaccine. He also missed the Indian Wells and Miami Masters — as well as the entire North American hardcourt swing — for the same reason.

In a tweet, Krakauer questioned the ostracization of elite athletes like Djokovic and Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving. With the efficacy of vaccines — including boosters — to prevent transmission being questionable, Krakauer said that vaccine mandates and tech censorship make little sense.

"If COVID vaccines don't help prevent transmission and only help reduce serious illness and death: No justification for vaccine mandates - school, work, travel. No reason to ostracize people like Djokovic, Kyrie. Tech censorship was unjustified. Boosters should be questioned," Krakauer wrote.

Novak Djokovic took a two-month 'forced' break after winning his seventh Wimbledon title, beating Nick Kyrgios in the final.

He returned to action at the Laver Cup last month — where he won two of his three matches. However, that wasn't enough to prevent Team World winning the competition for the first time in five attempts.

Novak Djokovic qualifies for ATP Finals

Novak Djokovic at the Laver Cup 2022 - Day Three
Novak Djokovic at the Laver Cup 2022 - Day Three

Novak Djokovic is in a rich vein of form despite missing the North American hardcourt swing.

After winning one of his two singles matches at the Laver Cup, the 35-year-old triumphed in Tel Aviv and Astana, where he won his 90th career singles title. With the win, Djokovic was guaranteed to end the year in the top 20.

By being a Grand Slam winner on the year, the Serb qualified for the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin later this month. Djokovic is 33-6 this season, winning four titles.

The 21-time Grand Slam winner will look for a record-equalling sixth title at the season-ending event. Djokovic hasn't won the ATP Finals since winning his fifth title in 2015, beating the now-retired Roger Federer in the final.

The Serb is expected to be in action at the Paris-Bercy Masters later this month before arriving in Turin for his 15th appearance at the ATP Finals, where he holds a 41-17 record.

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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